ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Weighing in on the hoisting of the Kurdistan flag on governmental buildings in Kirkuk, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated on Tuesday the Kirkuk administration lacks the authority to make such decisions.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, in his weekly press conference, said the Kirkuk administration doesn't have the right to raise a flag other than Iraq's national flag.
On March 28, the Kirkuk Provincial Council, following a majority vote, raised the Kurdistan flag on all governmental buildings in the province as a symbol representing the diversity of Kirkuk, host to various ethnic groups.
Abadi claimed the recent visit by the Kurdistan Region delegation to Baghdad mainly focused on discussions regarding the raising of the flag in Kirkuk. He underscored the need to reach for a solution on the issue.
“They do not have the right to raise the Kurdistan Region flag on government buildings. They can raise the flag on their parties’ offices, but the government buildings belong to the Iraqi government,” Abadi said.
Addressing talks of a possible upcoming referendum for independence in the Kurdistan Region, Abadi alluded to the right of all nations to hold a referendum, but suggested it might not be in the best interest of the people of the Kurdistan Region at this time.
Abadi was quoted as saying "this is not the right moment for the Kurdistan Region to hold a referendum."
“The Kurdistan flag does not represent Kurds alone but is a symbol of coexistence between different ethnic and religious groups,” Rebwar Talabani, the head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) previously stated during the Council’s vote on raising the Kurdistan flag.
Talabani also mentioned there were no articles in the constitution of Iraq that prohibit or preclude such a move.
Editing by Ava Homa and Gabrielle Renaud